What WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” Means For You

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It’s that time again. WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” just dropped with a bunch of helpful features. Following their convention of naming updates after famous jazz musicians, this was named after Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III. Development was led by Dominik Schilling , backed up by Garth Mortensen and over 250 other developers.

As always, this release brings about improvements that make WordPress faster, easier, and more stable. here are the highlights.

Streamlined Updates & Activation of Themes and Plugins

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WordPress 4.6 lets you stay on the same page when you update a plugin or download a new theme by having it done inline. Activation is done right from the same window as well, making the entire process a lot faster and easier.

Native System Fonts

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Prior to 4.6, WordPress used the Google Font Open Sans on their admin interface. This was great for keeping a consistent look whether you’re on the web app, desktop or mobile app, however, it came at the expense of loading speed as it relied on an external party to load the font. Instead, 4.6 makes the switch to use your native system font – San Francisco for OSX, for example. This lets the admin interface load even faster than before.

Inline Link Checker

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In WordPress 4.5, the ability to add an inline link was introduced, much to my joy at not having to navigate anther window to put in a link. This time, they’ve improved it even further. With the new update, WordPress now checks to see if you’ve put a broken link, and helpfully highlights it to you if it is.

Improved Autosave

If you’ve ever worked on a post from an airport or coffee shop, having the internet suddenly disconnect would be a cause of tremendous frustration. This update fixes and improves on their autosave feature by saving your post in the browser so that you can recover it in an emergency.

Developer Improvements

There are also plenty of developer improvements in this update:

  • Resource Hints: A new W3C specification allowing the browser decide which resources to fetch and preprocess
  • JavaScript Library Updates: Masonry 3.3.2, imagesLoaded 3.2.0, MediaElement.js 2.22.0, TinyMCE 4.4.1, and Backbone.js 1.3.3 are now bundled
  • Customizer APIs: Customizer controls now support notifications which are used to display validation errors instead of quietly failing in the background
  • Multisite upgrades: The inclusion of WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query, as well as other improvements, speed up the network admin experience.

 

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